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Stoke

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When they arrive at Yavin IV, it’s to a base in the throes of chaos. Cassian’s only surprised it took this long.

Jyn frowns as she peers out the front viewport, leaning between Cassian and Bodhi. “What’s going on?”

“Looks like it’s moving day,” Cassian says. At Bodhi’s perplexed look, he elaborates, “Our location’s been compromised. Sooner or later, the Empire’s going to get its act together and come back here to finish the job. So we move.”

“Where to?” Bodhi wonders.

Cassian shrugs. “They’ll probably tell us just before we make the jump.”

Draven’s waiting for them as they settle to the landing pad, along with a small medical team, no doubt dispatched when Cassian mentioned on their approach that they had injured aboard. Cassian’s privately glad for it; the medics descend on Jyn and Bodhi as soon as he opens the hatch, and that means Jyn won’t have a chance (this time) to follow through on her threat to punch Draven. Not that Cassian blames her for the anger she still holds towards the general, but she’s in the official Alliance hierarchy now. It complicates things.

The general’s eyebrows spike upwards at the sight of the sling around Jyn’s neck and Bodhi’s crutches, and climb even higher as Kalla and her family peer curiously out of the ship. He glances at Cassian as the major approaches. “I take it things didn’t go according to plan.”

Cassian considers, and shrugs. “Do they ever?”

The corner of Draven’s mouth quirks, just slightly. “Anything I should be concerned about?”

A great deal, Cassian thinks. He doubts Draven will approve of his decision not to cut and run. Kalla and her family provide little strategic value, and strategic values are Draven’s values. “It’s a long story,” he says, finally. “I’ll have a full report ready tonight.”

“Should be an interesting read,” Draven says. “I look forward to it.” Then, after a breath, “Have your team ready to leave by daybreak. We’ve received word the Empire is preparing to strike, so there’s no time to waste.”

Cassian nods.

He seems to notice Cassian’s hand then, swollen and achy, held carefully at his side. Cassian knows he’s an open book to Draven, but he’s not too shabby at reading the general, either. Draven’s expression softens, just a little. “Make sure you have that seen to.”

“Of course,” Cassian says, even though he knows he’ll feel guilty for drawing on their limited bacta supplies.

Draven gives him a look. “Do I need to make that an order, Major?”

“No, sir,” Cassian says.

The general shakes his head and paces away.

Cassian turns back to his team. One medic has Bodhi’s arm around his shoulder, helping the pilot hobble towards the medbay. Jyn’s fending off the other’s attempts to examine her shoulder. Cassian smiles despite himself.

“It’s fine,” Jyn insists as Cassian walks up. “I don’t need you poking at it.”

“Sergeant Erso,” the medic says, his patience obviously waning, “Field first aid is no substitute for proper medical care.”

Jyn gives Cassian an exasperated look. He takes pity on the medic. “Give us a minute.”

The medic throws up his hands in defeat and follows Bodhi and his companion. Cassian raises an eyebrow at Jyn. “Do you have to give him such a hard time? He’s just trying to help.”

“I give everyone a hard time,” Jyn points out. “Besides, I hate medbays. Nothing good ever happens in them.”

A smirk tugs at the edge of Cassian’s mouth. “I would agree with you,” he says, “But I can think of at least one recent exception.”

Jyn’s cheeks go slightly pink. “That’s hardly a fair example.”

“Whoever said I play fair?” Cassian teases, and gets an eyeroll and a grin in return.

“Fine,” she says, in mock exasperation, “But you have to come, too.” She looks pointedly at his hand.

“I will, in a minute,” he says.

She narrows her eyes. “You’d better. I know where you sleep.” And she heads off. Cassian watches her go, torn between amusement and vague sympathy for the medics.

“So what happens now?”

Cassian turns at the sound of Kalla’s voice. He studies her for a moment silently – she’s shed the armor long since, leaving her in just the plain black undersuit.

“What do you want to happen?” he asks, finally.

She folds her arms, turning to regard the frenetic activity of the base as the Rebellion prepares to flee. “I want to be here,” she decides. “Maybe I should have come a long time ago.”

Cassian nods, a small smile quirking his mouth. “We’ll be glad to have you.” He pauses. “And your sister?”

Kalla sighs. “I don’t know. We’re… it’s complicated. There are reasons we hadn’t talked in years. And she’s not sure the Rebellion is a good place for the kids.”

“That’s fair,” he acknowledges.

“Will she be allowed to leave?” Kalla asks bluntly. “If that’s what she decides to do?”

Draven might have something to say about that, Cassian thinks wryly. Something about security risks, and unnecessary chances. But he knows what the right answer is. “I’m not sure,” he says, “But if she’s not… well. It wouldn’t be the first time we’ve gone rogue.”

Kalla grins at that. “I heard your callsign on the way in. Rogue One, huh? Didn’t realize it was quite so literal.”

“Bodhi came up with it,” he says, “After we stole a ship against direct orders from the Council.”

Kalla’s eyebrows vanish into her hair. “Sounds like quite a story.”

Cassian grins. “Buy me a drink later, and I’ll tell you the whole thing.”

She smiles. “I just might take you up on that.” The expression turns amused. “But right now, you might want to follow your—“ Cassian shoots her a look, and she quickly amends—“Jyn and save those medics from getting their heads bitten off.”

Cassian’s pretty sure Jyn’s bark is worse than her bite, at least when it comes to allies, but he’d be lying if he told himself he wasn’t a little concerned that all the action might have damaged her shoulder. And his hand is aching in earnest now. So he nods. Kalla claps him on the shoulder and returns to her sister.

Before he goes, Cassian pauses at the scene in the ship. Chirrut is regaling the younger girl with a highly-embellished (but at the same time sanitized) version of their alleyway escape on Coruscant. The older girl is—Cassian does a double-take—braiding Baze’s hair. The Guardian looks completely unperturbed, watching his partner gesticulate wildly with a patiently amused expression.

It’s such a small moment, hidden amidst a great deal of chaos and uncertainty, but it brings a smile to his face.